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Germany omit Jerome Boateng and Marc-Andre ter Stegen for UEFA Nations League relegation battle

Julien Laurens speculates that Arsene Wenger's most recent comments could mean he's interested in replacing Joachim Low as manager of Germany.
ESPN FC's Julien Laurens believes the only reason Joachim Low still has a job is because Germany has a lack of replacement options.

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng and Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen are not in the Germany squad to face Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League later this month.

Boateng, 30, left the Germany camp with muscular problems following last month's 3-0 defeat to the same opponents in Amsterdam and does not return for the rematch in Gelsenkirchen on Nov. 19 or the friendly against Russia in Leipzig four days earlier.

"I am convinced that a rest will do him good right now," Germany coach Joachim Low said. "I told him that we currently have many alternatives in the centre-back position."

Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac dismissed speculation that the news could spell the end of Boateng's Germany career, telling a news conference: "It doesn't mean that Jerome will no longer be part of the national team in the future."

Boateng wrote on Twitter that he and Low had agreed to his omission for the squad "after an exhausting year" and wished the team all the best.

Ter Stegen will receive treatment for shoulder problems "which have bothered him for weeks," the German FA said, and will be replaced by Arsenal's Bernd Leno.

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who returned from injury this week, is also not selected, but Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus and Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger return.

Germany could be relegated from UEFA Nations League Group 1 should Netherlands beat France on Nov. 16.

If their rivals pick up a point in that game, Germany must beat them by a four-goal margin -- but if France win three points would be enough for Low's team to stay in the group.

Meanwhile, Germany have sold only 25,000 tickets for the game against Russia, being played in RB Leipzig's 42,000-capacity stadium, kicker reported, and the match against Netherlands has yet to sell out.

When Germany last played in Leipzig in 2015, their European Championship qualifier against minnows Georgia sold out.

Germany squad:

Keepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Defenders: Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern), Thilo Kehrer (Paris Saint- Germain), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Nico Schulz (Hoffenheim), Niklas Sule (Bayern), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen).

Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (PSG), Serge Gnabry (Bayern), Leon Goretzka (Bayern), Kai Havertz (Leverkusen), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Muller (Bayern), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sebastian Rudy (Schalke), Leroy Sane (Manchester City).

Attackers: Mark Uth (Schalke), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) 

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